Friday, May 20, 2011

Black Pacu

The Black Pacu or Tambaqui is a very large, slow moving, mostly herbivorous fish that is actually a relative to the Piranhas. They are one of the largest members of their order swimming around in South America, and can weigh as much as 65lbs!

Black Pacu or Tambaqui
Unlike their Piranha relatives, the Black Pacus are not especially carnivorous. Most of their diet is made up of plants, fruits, and nuts that fall into the rivers, especially during flooding time. They also differ from their cousins in that way that their jaws are aligned. Piranhas have a notorious under-bite, while the Pacu's teeth is more even, or even aligned in an overbite.

The Black Pacu tends to be quite solitary, but they can move great distances. In fact, the Black Pacu is one of the best seed carriers in the Amazon! They consume so much vegetation that many of the seeds are still intact. Once the seeds pass out of their digestive systems they end up in areas that are very fertile once the floodwaters recede.

Black Pacus are not on any protection lists are far as I can tell, but the species is potentially threatened by overfishing. They make up one of the single largest "crops" in the country of Brazil.

IUCN Status :  Not listed
Location : Amazon and Orinoco Basins
Size : Length up to 3.2ft (1m), Weight up to 66lbs (30kg)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Actinopterygii -- Order : Characiformes
Family : Characidae -- Subfamily : Serrasalminae -- Genus : Colossoma -- Species : C. macropomum


  1. not only that, these have also been found around in parts across the atlantic and is a constant threat to their ecosystem, they go as far as to eat crocidile hatclings , and also have been crushing the wrong types of `nuts' if one knows what i mean, (in a more blunt way, attacking me, in the `family jewel' area).


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